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My Ten All Time Greats
by Charlie Nicholas


IT'S an impossible question - who is the best player ever?

I've played alongside - and against - some of the greats in my career and there are just too many to choose from. But, for the sake of argument...

1. DANNY McGRAIN: Played both full-back positions for Scotland and was the greatest Celt I came across. He coped with diabetes and a fractured skull and, although he's a great friend, he's also still a hero to me."

2. GLENN HODDLE: The most gifted British player ever. Two-footed and, although over six feet tall, always elegant. He scored many spectacular goals, none of which were down to luck.

3. MARADONA: Best the world has seen. Older guys would say Pele, but Maradona won the 1986 World Cup single-handed. When I saw him at Hampden in 1979, he even nutmegged Kenny Dalglish.

4. KENNY DALGLISH: The greatest Scot ever. A huge influence on the sides he played in.

5. JIMMY JOHNSTONE: There was never a better entertainer and he was the most naturally talented player I ever saw. He was at the end of his Celtic career when I used to go and see him but he was still electric.

6. PAT JENNINGS: I nicknamed him God at Arsenal. Before a match, he told me if he caught a corner, he'd throw the ball to my feet so we could break away. He did - from 60 yards!

7. GIANFRANCO ZOLA: A modern Jinky. The best European player to join what is now the most exciting league in the world.

8. KENNY SANSOM: Another former Arsenal team-mate, Kenny was so quick at left-back he never had to be aggressive. The only player to read situations nearly as well as him is Paolo Maldini.

9. RUUD GULLIT: Best European player ever. When he joined AC Milan, he took Italy by storm.

10. MICHEL PLATINI: He was the reason France won the European Championships in 1984. The French midfield had Tigana and Giresse, but Platini was the man who could always do something different.

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